2013 was a sweet year for SAGE Advisory Group (now SageBroadview Financial Planning effective 1/1/2014). Among many personal and professional events worth celebrating, we include the February 14 Valentine’s Day launch of our regular series of SAGE blog posts. We began with a tip of the hat to Mad Magazine’s 60th year in business. Including this missive, we’ve now knocked off 52 more posts of our own, plus a handful of guest posts from Dimensional Fund Advisors and our respected colleagues, Larry Annello and Bob Lickwar.
Best of all, we’ve been graced by every writer’s dearest desire: We were heard. In the words of Maya Angelou, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” This is the same ideal we’ve tried to apply to our SAGE thoughts. Based on the feedback and forwards we’ve enjoyed to date, we look forward to continue writing in 2014 … and beyond.
In this, our final post of the year, we offer a synopsis of our Top 10 Posts from 2013.
Number Ten: The “Financial Life Planning” series
Okay, technically speaking, this is four posts, but the point remains that our readers were heartened by our series about how to connect your financial planning with four key elements of quality living: Gratitude, Meditation, Spending Time with the Tribe and Giving. That’s why we call what we do Financial LIFE Planning.
Number Nine: Time Is Money: Start Saving Now
We’re thrilled that one of our most popular posts came from our associate advisor Chris Annello, sharing the life lesson he received when his father gave him his coolest college gift – a $500 head start on a newly opened Roth IRA. We could not be more proud to have Chris as a member of the SAGE team … and still contributing regularly to his retirement savings.
Number Eight: Refreshing Your View on Retirement
Retirement in general seems to be on everyone’s minds, as our own take on the subject also received wide readership. As we said then, and we’ll say again now: “Many investors are still conducting their financial planning in the context of what retirement used to be, instead of what it is today.” The subject is particularly important for those in the corporate world who want to plan for how and when to leave it … on their own terms.
Number Seven: An Admirable Addiction
In which we confessed that we are under the influence … of heavy reading. Folks seemed to relate to the evidence we presented in our defense of our prescription: The more you read, the better you get.
Number Six: The Art of Asset Location
We always knew our readers were a smart bunch, as evidenced by their affinity for our post about a relative fine point in best-practice investing. Asset location is an often-overlooked tool in constructing an optimal investment portfolio. In English, it’s about deciding where to locate your stocks, bonds and other holdings within your taxable and tax-sheltered accounts, to maximize tax savings. In the language of your pocketbook, it means dollars saved for you.
Number Five (a tie!): How Do You Spell “Vested RSU”? We Say: S-E-L-L and Four Questions to Keep Your Stock Options Out of Jeopardy
Our readers continued to display their smarts with their keen interest in understanding executive benefits. Given Sheri’s own background as a GE corporate executive (prior to founding SAGE), she enjoys sharing her experience with these important, but often complicated sources of income.
Number Four: Boo! The Lurking 3.8% Medicare (Medi-scare) Surtax
Apparently our readers also enjoy a good horror story from time to time, given their interest in guest blogger Larry Annello, CPA/PFS, CFP®’s Halloween post on how to avoid being haunted by the upcoming 2014 Medicare Surtax.
Number Three (another tie!): Basic Estate-Planning Documents for Adult Children and Hot Off the Press: Dominic the Firefighter
The most popular posts often hit close to home. Any parent who has ever sent or is preparing to send their most precious asset off to college can empathize with Sheri’s mixed emotions as her eldest son Dominic reaches college age. There are both financial plans and emotional moments to share here, and our readers seemed to enjoy them both.
Number Two: Head-banging financial wisdom featuring Sprechen sie Awesome Rockumentary
Then again, sometimes the best reads are just plain fun. Among our most popular posts was our Fourth of July missive, in which we shared a Rockumentary of Sheri’s son Devon’s rock band, Sprechen sie Awesome, along with memorable quotes about financial independence from some of our favorite rock stars. (“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.”)
Number One: Getting to Know Us
We begin and end our 2013 Top Ten SAGE posts with a series of posts. Our summer series featured each of the members of the SAGE Advisory Group team. We are delighted that readers were interested in getting to know what makes each of us tick, and we can’t wait to continue to be a part of your lives as 2014 unfolds.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ALL OF US AT SAGE!!!
Getting to Know Us: J. David Principe, CFP®
Getting to Know Us: Christopher J. Annello
Getting to Know Us: Lynn Iannetta Baker
Getting to Know Us: Wendy Vissar (and thanks for all the awesome blog post photos, Wendy!)
Getting to Know Us: Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP®
SAGE Serendipity: Go ahead and start out the New Year with a ban … a banned book that is. Here’s a list of “Five Banned Books That You Should Read (That You Probably Haven’t)”.